Holden frontera good, bad or other wise

G'day all.
Old boy over the road from me, who is a mechanic, has a Holden frontera for sale, v6 with an auto. Heads were done last year, and is quite straight body wise, has 360k on the clock.. My eldest, who just got his licence back, is thinking about it..$3200 .. Basically I think they are similar to the older rodeo, in running gear.. Has a vacume operated 4wd ingage system? And also high and low range.. Anybody know much about these vehicles.. Any info would be much appreciated... I know it could be a bit heavy on juice, but maybe a bit lighter weight wise from the rodeo or jackaroo.. Thanks all.. Odog
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Reply By: madfisher - Tuesday, May 05, 2015 at 15:33

Tuesday, May 05, 2015 at 15:33
The short stroke 3.2 is a very good donk,some in Jacks have covered 450000ks, the auto would be the most suspect item, and if its the same box as the Jack they are $3000 to replace. O and if you want fuel economy forget the auto. My wife had a auto Nullarbor at the same time I had a manual v6 Jack.The auto consistly returned 20 to 22l per 100 on short trips around town, using economy driving techniques I got it down to 18. My man returns consistly 15 to 16/100 around town and will get just below 12 on a trip. Sons older lighter 99se use to dip just below 11 on a trip if driven under 95.
I think you would be better of looking for a 3.2 man Jack, better clearance.
cheers Pete
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Follow Up By: Member - Odog - Tuesday, May 05, 2015 at 15:47

Tuesday, May 05, 2015 at 15:47
Thanks Pete.
Son had money sitting there to buy a crusier or patrol, but I planted a seed in his head... Ended up buying a unit, so he's a bit tight for cash, which gives limited choices... But better to have a roof over his head.. Fella who's selling it, is a neighbour, so there is that bit of trust there.. Thanks for the info, much appreciated. Cheers. O
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Reply By: Bushranger1 - Tuesday, May 05, 2015 at 17:47

Tuesday, May 05, 2015 at 17:47
G'day,
My friend owned one for 4 years & it went quite well in the sand out in the Wimmera.
It blew the head gasket last year so she offloaded it & bought a Suzuki Vitara instead.

Not many of them around. It wouldn't happen to be a green one in South Western Victoria would it?

Cheers
Stu
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Follow Up By: KevKim37 - Tuesday, May 05, 2015 at 18:17

Tuesday, May 05, 2015 at 18:17
If it has the "same Japanese Built Drivetrain" as the Jackaroo/Rodeo all ok. But if similar to the 4 cyl Frontera SWB which had a French Designed Rear Diff and Braking system stay right away from them as the parts are very expensive and I would say from the last one I had dealings with, with very hard to obtain.

Cheers Kev.
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Follow Up By: Bushranger1 - Tuesday, May 05, 2015 at 18:21

Tuesday, May 05, 2015 at 18:21
I guess the one my friend sold off was the Japanese Built drivetrain as it was the long wheelbase V6.
She replaced the Auto shortly before the head gasket blew.
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Follow Up By: Member - Odog - Tuesday, May 05, 2015 at 18:45

Tuesday, May 05, 2015 at 18:45
Nah.. It's a white one.. I had a look on red book, said they are built in USA..... See how we go... I hate helping my eldest bloke with stuff like this, they all seem to have attitude, doesn't matter how much experience in life you have, they have done it all... In half the years... Lol... Thanks all. Odog
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Follow Up By: Bushranger1 - Tuesday, May 05, 2015 at 18:54

Tuesday, May 05, 2015 at 18:54
Ok then.
If it had turned out to be her old one I could have given you a bit of history on it. Just similar timing on the blown head gasket to the one you are looking at. Maybe the heads are a bit of an issue on them.
She was pretty happy with hers & it was always not far behind my Hilux as long as you just kept your eye on the ground clearance.

Anyway enjoy the ride.
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Reply By: tim_c - Friday, May 08, 2015 at 13:34

Friday, May 08, 2015 at 13:34
They should be a good unit if looked after - I understand they share a lot of the same running gear as the Jackaroo. I'd be surprised if there's much weight saving compared to a Jackaroo/Rodeo - most of the heavy bits are the same in the Frontera. The auto could be a bit thirsty, especially if driven by someone with a varying licence status.

I had a 3.2L V6 Jackaroo and sold it with 396,000km on it (only just starting to top up oil between 10,000km changes) and I never had to do anything major (I think the clutch and starter motor were replaced not long before I bought it at 226,000km) it was still in use a couple of years later. It was a great car, and I was sorry to see it go (I sold it prior to a temporary move overseas - if it wasn't so long in the tooth I'd have probably asked a family member to mind it until I got back). It was surprisingly capable off-road, though a bit low under the gearbox/transfer case - you had to be pretty careful going downhill but going uphill was fine as it tended to make the front sit higher. It served me well with a mix of driving including two decent outback trips (each in excess of 10,000km), was very comfortable to drive and travel in, and remarkably smooth, quiet and refined compared to many other vehicles of a similar age.

The only thing I'd caution with the Frontera is that (even more so than the Jackaroos), there really aren't many of them around so it can be difficult to get non-genuine parts if you should need them (and genuine parts can be quite pricey) - I sold my Jackaroo 7 years ago, I'd imagine parts availability would only get worse as time goes by. Having said that, if you're willing to try to source parts out of US, you may have more success as there are probably a few more of them around over there.
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